Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Raptors 116, Nets 102

Mar 13, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas (17) shoots the ball past Brooklyn Nets forward Dante Cunningham (44) and guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Toronto 116 Final
Box Score
102 Brooklyn

S. Ibaka27 MIN, 9 PTS, 9 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2-6 FG, 0-1 3FG, 5-5 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 7 +/-

Great job of using his 6’11” frame to find success around the rim. When he settles for jumpers, it limits so much of his offensive attack, so seeing him attack with regularity and aggressiveness is really encouraging.

N. Powell12 MIN, 5 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-4 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -8 +/-

Powell showed some confidence early with a quick five points. The streaky swingman didn’t do much else after that brief first quarter, in part because the Raptors elected to run three-guard lineups.

J. Valanciunas27 MIN, 26 PTS, 14 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 12-20 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-5 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 5 +/-

Was the only Raptor to reach double-digit field goal attempts by the end of the first half. To no one’s surprise, Valanciunas got inside with ease against a weak Nets interior to finish the first half with a team-best 15 points. He continued his assault around the rim throughout the second half.

A quick side note: JV’s defence against drivers has improved night-and-day since the start of the season.

K. Lowry32 MIN, 11 PTS, 3 REB, 11 AST, 1 STL, 4-13 FG, 1-8 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 6 +/-

Went scoreless from distance in the first half, but found other ways to contribute. Lowry made key dimes during the Raptors third-quarter run to help swing the momentum of this game.

D. DeRozan33 MIN, 15 PTS, 7 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 6-12 FG, 1-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, 2 +/-

Had a hard time getting into a groove offensively until late in the fourth and had some turnover issues tonight. While it was far from his best game of the season, DeRozan scored a bit late to help put the game out of reach.

F. VanVleet28 MIN, 15 PTS, 1 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 5-10 FG, 3-6 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 31 +/-

Provided terrific defensive pressure and moved the ball exceptionally as the second unit’s main distributor tonight. VanVleet checked in with around eight minutes left in the third and instantly provided a spark by setting up a Valanciunas jumper. He hit some timely 3-pointers, too. In the plus-minus god we trust.

J. Poeltl20 MIN, 8 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 4-7 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-1 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, 7 +/-

He’s always in the right place at the right time, as per usual, so it’s no surprise the second-year rejects the number of shots he does. His ability to create second-chance opportunities adds another intimidating layer to the Raptors terrific bench unit as well. Poeltl was the benefactor of some beautiful feeds from Siakam in the second quarter that got him easy looks around the cup. Watching that duo go to work in the paint is so much fun.

P. Siakam19 MIN, 5 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 2-5 FG, 0-0 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 7 +/-

What an energizer to have on the second unit. Siakam beat Brooklyn’s defence down the floor for an easy bucket early on, then did a tremendous job working the two-man game with Jakob Poeltl. A few flashy dimes to Poeltl in the second quarter stood out in particular.

C. Miles19 MIN, 12 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-7 FG, 3-6 3FG, 3-3 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 6 +/-

Didn’t knock a shot down through the first three quarters, but in typical Miles fashion, delivered in the fourth quarter with some timely makes from distance. The timeliness of his buckets helped Miles’ grade rapidly improved as we got deeper into the fourth.

D. Wright17 MIN, 10 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 4-6 FG, 2-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 7 +/-

Hit two 3-pointers to keep the score close during the bench mob’s usual stint early in the second quarter. Wright slowed down a bit in the second half, in part because of a lack of playing time. Solid showing all-around.

M. Miller5 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-

Was nice to see Miller get some playing time once again. When you’re winning the way Toronto is, you can afford to give guys like Miller more run in the rotation. So far, he’s shown some promise in limited minutes.

Dwane Casey

Went to the bench at the right time and correctly stuck with them until about five minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Also called a great timeout with 4:15 remaining to get his team composed and throw the Nets offence out of sync. Toronto proceeded to close out the game on a 13-2 run following the stoppage. Casey also made the smart decision to utilize three-guard lineups featuring Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, and DeMar DeRozan.

Things We Saw

  1. Make it nine wins in a row, 16 in the past 17 contests, and three-straight 50 win seasons for the Toronto Raptors. This prolonged run of dominance has to be up there as one of the franchise’s greatest stretches in its 23-year history. The scary part of all this for Raptors’ opponents going forward is how the team seems to only be improving as the playoffs near. Toronto’s record against sub-.500 teams improved to 29-5 with the win. 60 wins is a realistic possibility, especially since six of the team’s final 15 games are against sub-.500 teams.
  2. D’Angelo Russell got off to a wicked start, nailing seven 3-pointers in the first to finish the quarter with 24 points. Russell’s Kobe-like effort was part of a 40-point first quarter for Brooklyn, yet Toronto only trailed by eight points heading into the second. You knew it was only a matter of time before the bench mob reinvigorated the Raps by wreaking their usual havoc.
  3. The Raps tied a franchise-best mark with a seventh consecutive win on the road. Let the good times roll.
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